Giving back to #sqlfamily

I’m way late to the T-SQL Tuesday party, but I’d like to add my opinions to giving back to the SQL community. I think most of the other authors have covered the “why,” so I will talk in terms of the more pragmatic “how.”

So how does one give back to the community? Well there are the traditional ways like answering questions on #sqlhelp, and the forums as well as speaking at meetings, conferences and SQL Saturdays. Those are all well and good, but there are a few other ways.

First, give us your code. I’m a developer, not a DBA, and I was a linux admin before I became a .NET developer. Therefore giving back through open source is something I have been “raised” to do. So write some code, consider putting it under an open source license, and distribute it, preferably on github.

Secondly, tweak the free code out there. Is there an open source SQL script that you like? Did you change it? Send the changes to an author. Just be warned that not all the free scripts created by members of this community are open source, and not all authors will incorporate your changes. For example, Adam Machanic probably won’t accept your changes to sp_whoisactive. Brent Ozar OTOH, will accept a sp_blitz (which is not open source) patch. BTW you can thank me for being able to save output from that script to global (##prefixed) temp tables. Olla Halgreen will accept patches for his maintenance scripts, and Richie Rump will accept pull requests for his statistics visualizer.

Thirdly, curate Edit the questions for grammar and spelling. If you ask a question yourself, try to ask it in a way that it becomes a canonical question. Thinking about blogging about something. Instead, considering self answering a question their. I’ve seen stackoverflow and serverfault greatly improve the level of bingleable development and operations knowledge. The Q&A format is better than forums for things that don’t need to be a discussion. Lets foster that here. BTW, all the stackexchange data is available under a creative commons license. You can download it an query it offline.

Finally, I’d like to take the time to thank everyone in the community that has helped me. I won’t single anyone out, because they’re too many of you. I’ll just try to keep paying it forward.